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Ford, Tom (b. 1961)  
page: 1  2  

Ford has won numerous awards within the fashion industry as well as a Commitment to Life award from AIDS Project Los Angeles for Gucci's charitable work in support of people with HIV and AIDS.

When Ford left Gucci in 2004, he announced his intention to devote his talents to directing films.

[In 2005, Ford announced the formation of a film production company, Fade to Black. His debut as a film director (and producer and screenwriter) was his adaptation of Christopher Isherwood's iconic gay novel, A Single Man, which was released in 2009.

The film won a number of awards at film festivals before being released widely to critical acclaim for its exquisite attention to detail and its stunning cinematography. Colin Firth and Julianne Moore won plaudits for their accomplished acting in the film.

In an interview with Kevin Sessums in the Advocate, Ford provocatively declared that "I don't think of myself as gay. That doesn't mean that I'm not gay. I just don't define myself by my sexuality"; then added: "The gay aspect of A Single Man certainly wasn't what drew me to make a film of the Christopher Isherwood book. It was its human aspect, that unifying quality."

Perhaps in an effort to make his film seem less centered on the homosexual experience, Ford drastically played down the protagonist's anger and resentment at his marginalization as a homosexual, which is a striking feature of the novel, and he made him bisexual despite the fact that he is not depicted as such in the novel. Moreover, many gay viewers complained that the film of the landmark gay novel was marketed in such a way as to deemphasize its homosexual dimensions.

The film differs in many ways from the novel, and it lacks the book's spiritual profundity as well as its political prescience. Nevertheless, the film powerfully conveys the debilitating effects of grief and the abiding love of one man for another.

Ford's A Single Man is an auspicious debut for an aspiring filmmaker.

Ford and his partner Richard Buckley, who was Editor in Chief of Vogue Homme International from 1999 to 2005, have been together since 1986. They met when Ford was working at Cathy Hardwick and Buckley was fashion editor at Womens World Daily. Their relationship was profiled in Out in 2011, in which the two men wrote about how they met and how their relationship developed.

In September 2012, the couple welcomed a son, Alexander John Buckley Ford, who was born in Los Angeles.

Despite his being an openly gay man in a long-term relationship, Ford is often listed as an eligible bachelor and his good looks are frequently noted in women's lifestyle magazines. He typically dresses head to toe in black, a picture of understated stylishness.]

Shaun Cole

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arts >> Overview:  Fashion

The association between homosexuality and fashion is multifaceted, ranging from the role of clothes as signifiers of sexual orientation to the immense contributions gay men have made at all levels of the fashion industry.

arts >> Overview:  Film Directors

Gay, lesbian, and bisexual film directors have been a vital creative presence in cinema since the medium's inception over one hundred years ago.

arts >> Clark, Ossie

Ossie Clark helped define the fashion mood of 1960s London.

arts >> Ellis, Perry

American fashion designer Perry Ellis achieved spectacular success, based on his clean-cut, casual, yet often whimsical designs; but his career was cut short by his early death, rumored to have been the result of complications from AIDS.

literature >> Isherwood, Christopher

A major Anglo-American novelist and a pioneer in the gay liberation movement, Christopher Isherwood created gay characters whose homosexuality is a simple given, an integral part of the wholeness of personality and an emblem of their common humanity.

arts >> McQueen, Alexander

Fashion innovator and provocateur Alexander McQueen was the youngest designer to receive the coveted award "British Designer of the Year."

arts >> Saint Laurent, Yves

One of the seminal fashion designers of our era, Yves Saint Laurent not only created a venerable fashion empire, but has also inspired many other designers.


Clark, Adrian. "Driving Ford." Loaded Fashion (Spring Summer 2001): 90-97.

Mower, Sarah. "Tom Ford: The Naked truth." Arena Homme Plus 14 (Autumn-Winter 2000): 230-235.

Sessums, Kevin. "Tom Ford Tells All." The Advocate (December 2009-January 2010):

"Tom Ford and Richard Buckley Forever." Out (January 9, 2011):


    Citation Information
    Author: Cole, Shaun  
    Entry Title: Ford, Tom  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2002  
    Date Last Updated October 5, 2012  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2002, glbtq, Inc.  


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